MSC Cruises takes delivery of MSC Seaside, its most advanced cruise ship to date

MSC Cruises has taken delivery of its newest cruise ship, MSC Seaside, at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

At 160,000 gross tons, MSC Seaside is the largest cruise ship ever built in Italy and the second-largest cruise ship to ever sail for MSC Cruises.

“This new concept will provide the owner with more revenue-generating solutions; more staterooms than a comparable, contemporary design; more open deck space; and an increase in performances, being significantly more efficient,” says Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono.

It also provides a more efficient design with a central casing and two passenger stair towers, one forward and one aft. The number of interior fire bulkheads is reduced, and the less desirable bow and stern areas are used as non-revenue spaces. Technological advancements are also expected to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 25 percent.

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Developed by Fincantieri’s senior chief designer, Maurizio Cergol, the Seaside concept repositions the engine room to a more historical midship location, creating a more balanced ship and lessening the stresses on the hull.

The Seaside concept sought to create an open ship that brings passengers closer to the sea.

MSC Seaside has one of the highest ratios of outdoor space (approximately 150,000 square feet outside versus a total of 460,000 square feet) and an increased number of balcony staterooms. The design deliberately sought to redress the challenge cruise ship designers face in that, as the ship gets larger, there is less open deck space per passenger.

The design blends indoor and outdoor areas, including dining, bars, lounge areas, and a glass-walled multi-deck atrium. The majority of this indoor-outdoor blending occurs on the expansive Deck 8 promenade, which is the widest on any ship as a result of MSC Seaside’s unique design.

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The promenade features two catwalks with glass floors and railings, while one deck down at the stern there is a large pool area and two panorama glass elevators rising to Deck 16 where a third 98-foot glass catwalk, the Bridge of Sighs, provides spectacular ocean views.

Up-top, her design also reflects MSC Cruises’ focus on better competing with the current ‘big three’ cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line). She incorporates and even enhances many of the modern cruise ship trends.

There is an interactive water park with four slides and an adventure trail up top, a 394-foot long zip line and a full-size bowling alley.

There are accommodations for a total of 5,179 passengers (or 4,140 at double occupancy) with 73 percent of staterooms featuring balconies, and an enlarged MSC Yacht Club suite enclave.

There are nine dining options, including a “kids-only” buffet restaurant and five specialty restaurants.

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Having taken delivery of their new mega-ship this week, MSC Cruises will sail her maiden voyage on December 1st from Triesta, Italy to Miami, where the cruise ship will be officially christened. Tickets for this trans-Atlantic ‘shakedown’ cruise are believed to have sold out months ago.

MSC Seaside will cruise year-round in the Caribbean from Miami. Her sister ship MSC Seaview (delivery due in June 2018) will cruise the Western Mediterranean in the summer of 2018 before repositioning to Brazil for South American cruises beginning in December 2018.

MSC Cruises has exercised an option for a third Seaside-class cruise ship, which will be delivered in 2021.

While the design of MSC Seaside is futuristic and bold, and will set MSC Cruises apart in the global fleet, the unique elements introduced by MSC Seaside do not actually belong to the cruise line, so we can expect other Fincantieri-built ships to exhibit similar features in the coming years.

Virgin Voyages three new cruise ships, with the first due for delivery in 2020, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Project Leonardo, due for delivery in 2022, are two of the other major cruise ships being built by the shipyard.

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